Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

7,060 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,060
Reviews: 2,268
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 279
Gots: 919 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 03-27-2002

This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed with American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. There's a trophy in every glass.

2009 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – GOLD
2009 Colorado State Fair – Best of Show
2006 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
2005 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® India Pale Ale - GOLD
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,060 | Reviews: 2,268
Reviews by maskednegator:
Photo of maskednegator
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden. Agressive pour results in puffy head, which slowly deflates, leaving great lacing on the glass.
Smell: Floral, citrus hops. A ton of them.
Taste: Big grapefruit up front fills the sinus, mellow maltiness follows, balanced by a pine-sol hop bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, slightly acidic
Drinkability: I love IPAs, so this is an all-night beer for me. Others may be put off by the a lingering metallic finish. Some would think it's like sucking on a rusty penny, but I compare it to licking a 9 volt battery.

Verdict: 8/10. You can find this in many bars in San Diego, so I often recommend it to my friends. It's only a $4 bomber (insane for a bottle-conditioned beer). Reserve a little in the bottle, and drink it separately. Yeast is good for you

More User Reviews:
Photo of CarlosRuizsChauffeur
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer almost looks like an unfiltered Belgian white, except it is a little more translucent. Slight orange tinge with a small white head
S: Could not smell too much besides the decent dose of hops
T: Almost exactly how I want an IPA to taste. Not overly bitter, not overly hoppy, with the right amount of malts to keep it tasting like a normal IPA. Smooth and extremely drinkable, especially for a 7.5% abv. Nice biscuit-y flavor that is mellow but hoppy enough at the same time. One of the most perfect balances of malts and hops in any IPA I have had
M: Crisp, but not too much of a bite. Very smooth
O: One of my favorite IPA's and one of the most drinkable Indian Pale Ales there is. Everyone should try it at least once

Photo of ZagZagg
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter

A: Half finger white head sitting on a hazy, unfiltered looking brew. Fine sediment, light/fine carbonation, body appears medium – lacing is moderate and retention is good.

S: Sweet and resinous simultaneously, strong presence of grapefruit with undertones of pineapple and mango. Somewhat of an astringent aroma that is clean as well as mildly dry. Light agitation coaxes out a sterile lemon zest with notes of pine.

T: Clean taste, lemon and grape fruit provide a crisp astringency. Pine needle presents toward the middle mouth and dominates the resinous feel. The middle mouth packs a lot of citrus zest and is drier than I expected. Sweetness arises on the palate as the beer warms, letting on mild notes of mango, honey, and muddled mint leaf. Quite bitter, but well balanced, even a bit tart. The finish has hints of coriander and ginger; hop florals and freshly cut grass.

M: Medium to light body, fine carbonation, good balance between juicy and dry – aftertaste has a coriander soapiness and is again rather dry. Pretty decent drinkability

O: If I did a blind tasting of this, I would think it’s a solid IPA. That being said, I had heard some pretty high praise of this beer and I don’t know that I completely vibe with that. Good drinkability, good full flavor, but I was looking for a juicier palate. Overall, I like this beer, and I like it better warmer.

Photo of oberon
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Go speed racer go speed racer go,sorry.Pours a light golden with a orange tint to it as I neared the bottem of my bottle the chunks and floaties came.A very floral aroma poured a foot and a half away from my nose and picked up the citrus and piney aroma very tantalizing and bold.Taste is a hop heads dream but there is a firm malt backbone very piney almost medicinal in its hop character with a light nuttiness coming thru late.A hop fix for me really liked this beer wish I had more.

Photo of ddean
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance-
An attractive amber-orange. Not much head, but oddly enough, it tastes more carbonated than it looks, if that makes sense.

Smell-
A nice piney hop note, though more subtle than I'd like, even when the beer is warmed up.

Taste-
Quite a delicious West Coast style IPA. Big, crisp, piney hops, but with a slightly sweet maltiness---I get orange with maybe a little brown sugar.

Mouthfeel-
Smooth, with a nice, long lingering of the malt.

If you like Lagunitas, Stone, and other big West Coast IPAs, I'd recommend this one, and like these other representatives, it has a substance to back up the hop punch. Cheers.

Photo of RoyalT
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Very clear, thin-looking body with a tremendous, foaming head that laced and pitted my Ruination glass.

Smell – Sharp, piney hops lead the way here. If there’s a malt balance I can’t find it. This one is all about the hops. Very complex, actually, with some floral and citrus notes.

Taste – The taste sees through the promises of the nose. The complex hoppy flavor comes out at the tongue, but not overly sharp. There’s a tremendous smoothness to this ale that reminds me of NW style IPAs.

Mouthfeel – Very smooth and medium-bodied. This one is also exceptionally dry and refreshing.

Drinkability – Clean and distinctive offering of the style. I brought a few more Bear Republics back with me from LA and am looking forward to giving them a try.

Comments - The brewery is located in Healdsburg, home of the CA Wine Country. It's a beer island in a sea of vino, so woulid probably appreciate a beer-lover's visit.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a very cool 22 oz bomber.

Appearance: Deliciously golden orange, great color. Lot’s of fun junk floating around. Beautiful froth. Looks great!

Smell: Clean citrus hops. Mild scents of inorganic salts, acid, and alcohol. Coarse.

Taste: Mild hops, mildly bitter citrus, oven baked biscuits

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Mildly warming. Not very exciting.

Drinkability: High. Very, very easy to drink only I won’t be drinking much of this one. I can think of at least 5 IPAs that are better and more affordable.

Photo of tectactoe
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one has eluded me for a long time, mainly because I couldn't find a fresh bottle. Finally got one last week, looking forward to finally trying this one. Pours almost a completely opaque, bright amber and light copper color. Big eggshell head builds up nice and foamy-like, leaving lots of chunky lace on the glass nearly all the way down. Awesome looking IPA.

The nose is quiet at first, but I believe I served this one to myself a little too cold. Once it warmed up, the aroma came out strong; big-time citric hops immediately send your senses into a frenzy. Plentiful grapefruit and dense orange peel, thick layers of pine needles, with a light perfume-like characteristic that lingers about. The citrus is sweet, mildly bitter, and potent; the hops are humongous in character - sticky, oily, and brash... this is one goddamn wet and hoppy IPA. Not quite reaching "dank" status, but the piney hops have a largely resinous aroma.

Malt? Not too much. It's certainly underplayed on the nose, but that's to be expected. I take one sip and I'm strapped in for the hop-coaster. Big, wet, pine-encrusted hops glide across my palate and smack my taste buds - powerful and bitter without being too harsh or abrasive. Large, white-pepper sprinkled grapefruit peels and other various citrus rinds coat every corner of my mouth. Couple that with the thick and dense resins and hop oils, you've got yourself a sticky-delicious IPA.

Lots of pine in the finish with a nudge of bitterness that grazes the palate without completely raping it. It's actually quite mellow, really, and becomes even more mellow with time. Warming also brings out a large floral and perfume character that wasn't as evident before. Just like with many other IPAs, the malts coming in much more handy in the flavor than the aroma - biscuity and bready, the malts here perform a very nice balancing act with the aggressive hop profile, something I love to see. Fresh aftertaste with pines, oils, bread, and orange peels. The mouth feel is slick, clean, snappy, and lively; medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Wow, I can't believe this stuff went under my nose for such a long time, it really is a delicious IPA. Very good perception of extreme hoppiness while maintaining a great balance with the malt that keeps this beer drinkable as all hell. Goes down like a champ - and it helps that the 7% ABV goes primarily unnoticed. Delicious stuff, no joke.

Photo of ExtraStout
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into glass; served cold and warmed as I tasted it...Recommended, because it got better as it got warmer.

A - It's unfiltered, so has a cloudy look to its (light) orange color. Soapy head dissipates fairly quickly. Lighter (looking) than most IPAs.
S - NICE nose to this; soapy, grapefruit-y hops; promising...
T - Pervasive hoppiness, balanced with a nice, continuous backbone of malty sweetness. Just before you get of alcohol at the end, there's a hint of orange/grapefruit pith, that is really distinct. Hangs around for a bit too...
M - Smooth, as a result of low carbonation and un-filtered-ness
D - Could easily down a few of these and enjoy the helll out of them.

Overall a solid IPA and wil be looking for more from this brewery.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: At first glance, I'm a little disappointed by the look of this brew. In a standard pint glass, it looks a little thin, with a see-through golden orange color. A medium-hard pour leaves about a 1/2 finger head that fades quickly. The carbonation looks great, however, as does the thin, thready, lacing the sticks on the side of the glass.

S: Mostly sweet citrus notes come upfront; is is a nice orange and lemon scent. A little bit of oily, pine-y hops support the citrus smell. As with the appearance, the word thin comes to mind. It does not have a big aroma, but it does have a nice aroma.

T: The taste, however, is not thin and this makes this guy quite happy. There is a very delicious balance between the sweet citrus flavors and the pleasant, dry, pine hop tastes. The finish has that nice, lingering dryness that I really enjoy from a quality IPA.

M: A good, warming feel that spreads joy to all parts of the palate. Crisp and refreshing in the mouth.

D: Not a palate-ruining IPA at all and its crisp, clean citrus tastes lead me to believe that I could drink several of these puppies and be pretty joyful.

Photo of imperialstout27
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pub glass.

A: Nice golden orange with off-white 1 finger head. Hazy with a little bit of very tiny fuzz floating around. Head dissipates in a couple minutes and leaves a decent collar that remains throughout. Medium lacing.

S: Lemony citrus. Also some tangerine. Sweet maltiness lightly appearing under the hops.

T: Hell ya! Very juicy hop flavors with a good malt structure that's not overly malty. The hops are very forward but nicely balanced for the style. The sweetness knows just how to be the canvas without usurping the stage from the very prominent hops. The hop profile of this IPA really works for my palate; it's not super bitter, but it is super flavorful with a nice spicy, resinous characteristic. Alcohol asserts itself as it warms. There's also an enjoyable graininess in the aftertaste, along with the predictable bitterness.

M: Very nice feel that's medium to full for the style. Unlike some IPAs, there's actually some grain in this recipe. Smooth on the palate with an adequate carbonation level.

D: Quite high, although it can get a little sweet and boozy as it warms. But at optimal temperature, I can easily drink the bomber and more.

Overall, a very good IPA that has a good malt backbone without being overly sweet. Delicious hop profile.

Photo of wrycon
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Simply glows in the tulip. Transparency reveals sediment floating within. Not expected, but not an issue either. Smells quite good. Piney and tropical. Mmmm, quite good. Pine and bitter to start, which cascades downward to a clean, yet resinous finish. Very smooth. The hops are there, certainly, but they're deftly kept at bay by a sweet maltiness. This is very good. Reminiscent of PtE. Should have bought more of it.

Like It? Very Much So

Photo of JMD71
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:Light orangey color with carbonation clinging to sides of the glass. Small bubbly head when poured. Looks very fizzy. Slightly cloudy...

Aroma: Malty caramel aroma with overtones of floral hops. Slightly citrusy & reminiscent of pine needles. Fruity. Not overly bitter smelling. Well balanced in the nose.

Taste: Sweet caramel beginning & middle balances with bittering hops in the finish. Perfectly balanced. Savory, full flavored IPA.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, medium bodied texture. Wonderful crispness & clean throughout. Not cloying at all. Leaves a fresh feeling...

Drinkability: Easy drinking! Very smooth with every sip. Goes down with effortlessly. I could enjoy a few in a row.

Comments: This was a very well balanced IPA. Great malty sweetness & hop finish not overbearing. Excellent!

Photo of steelerguy
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours golden with a 1 finger off white head. Head fades quickly leaving lacing on top. Lightly carbonated and quite clear, with heavy lacing as I drank.

S - Sweet malt and floral hops. If there were a such thing as a beer flower, this is how it would smell.

T - Sweet caramel malt taste, some unfermented sugars, balanced very well by the floral hop bitterness. Can definitely pick up some alcohol in there, but in a good way, lets you know this beer is packing. I would have guessed this beer to be a DIPA considering the strong malt backbone and hop counter punch.

M - Thicker than expecting, not heavily attenuated. Feels like a bigger beer than a regular IPA.

D - This is a beer to sit down and savor. Enjoy one or two, but it got a bit tiring as I drank more. This is called an IPA, but felt like a DIPA to me and because of that it is only so drinkable even though it is quite good.

Photo of Dmann
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was a great beer for sure. It poured a amber color with a big cloud like white head that left tons of lace down the glass. The smell was very bready but at the same time the citrus notes from the hops crept in as well. The taste was alot smoother than I was expecting, with a nice creamy mouthfeel, great malt presence and a nice biting but not too bitter hoppiness. This a very tame west cost IPA IMO but a very sessionable one nonetheless.

Photo of newk340
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: a yeasty orange gold color with a thin head and some mild carbonation.

S: a sharp smell of citrus and hops.

T: a crescendo of flavor that culminates in an amazing blast of hops and lemons.

MF/D: smooth to start with an increase in carbonation that fizzles on the tongue well after the swallow.

Photo of blitz134
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clean and transparent light copper body with a two finger white head which reduced down to a lump looking mass.

A nice typical IPA aroma with hints of grapefruit and pine. A good bit of sweet malt as well. This IPA tastes really good. Its flavor covers the three basic hop flavors: citrus with hints of grapefruit, pine, and a finish of bitter resin. This is all balanced with a slightly sweet malt which makes this brew really balanced. Hop bitterness is good as well and stronger than most IPAs. Nicely crafted and true to the style although a touch more bitter than most.

Mouthfeel is a touch thin but still coats well enough to provide lingering time for tasting. If this was a bit heavier this would be right on par with what I woudl expect. Drikability is really what this beer is about and some of that could be due to the lighter mouthfeel in my opinion. No problems will be encountered finishing this bomber off.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice beer. An orange color with a fairly thick, sticky head. It had a floral aroma, with a little bit of grapefruit. Nicely hopped, not too aggressive. Good in the mouth, again kind of understated. This is an IPA to enjoy. Certainly will have this again.

Photo of NWer
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll try to keep this short just to piss off those who think every review needs to be overflowing with mounds of flavors, nuances, smells of various fruits.
Bottom line is, this is a fine West Coast IPA. Mellow, smooth, light citrus, well balanced.
If you want details, read other reviews or go to their website.
Very enjoyable and too drinkable. Not a sipping beer unless you possess tremendous restraint.
I don't.
Bomber finished in a flash.

Photo of pittpenguin
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very clear amber orange in color. Thin off white head that retains throughout, nice lacing. Very nice.

S: Lots of citrus, but a little too much pine for me. I would prefer the citrus to be bursting out, but alas... Malts are represented with some honey-breadiness.

T: Decent malt back with some caramel toffee smoothness. Hops are the dominate breed in this brew. Your likeable citrus, and less so piney tones. Alcohol not complicating the fine finish. Finish is long and bitter.

MF: medium bodied good carbonation, goes down well for this hophead.

D: Good and smooth.

Photo of andyfrancis
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear golden pour with a white head that laced and left a creamy foam around the sides of my glass. Floral, citrusy, hop dominated aroma. Taste is smooth up front, with a bitter hoppy finish. It's no secret that this is one of the more popular IPAs these days, and no surprise how it became that way. Great example of the style and loads up on the hops without being too bitter to enjoy.

That being said, it has almost become the Sierra Nevada of 7 years ago for me. I rarely buy it in a store or at a place with a wide selection, but at a bar with 6-10 taps, Racer 5 being the most exotic, I'll often go with it by default.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful clear pale straw color with a nice white lacing.

S - Really nice hop aroma. Hints of some citrus fruits and a light floral bouquet. Also some alcohol notes.

T - Nice citrus fruit flavors start off the sip, which then smoothly transition into a great rich caramel flavor from the malts. The hop finish is bitter, but not overpowering.

M - As is common with Bear Republic, this has a thick and smooth body, with a medium amount of carbonation.

O - The flavor is really well-balanced and the mouthfeel is great. Plus, the relatively low abv make this a truly phenomenal IPA.

Photo of Supertyfon
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - poured a nice orange/copper color with a solid 2-finger bubbly white head.

S- somewhat floral, mildly sweet, a little bready, little hints of grapefruit, very mellow hop.

T - nice carbonation and mild fruitiness up front, mid palate is smooth, enjoyable & balanced, finish has a drying pine undertone with a mellow dry piny finish with a minimal pine linger.

M - Meduim body but very smooth.

O - this isn't a very complex west coast IPA but is a very solid example, not palate wrecking but is piny with a superb balance, very drinkable and smooth, like the mellower little brother to Green Flash West Coast IPA, a really nice IPA example but does kinda lack that big fresh grapefruit/fruitiness character.

Photo of marvin213
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It looks like your average IPA: the browner side of yellow permeates my glass. A bubbly foam resonates down the sides of my glass, a slothy track left in its wake. My descriptive leads me to clarify my opening...Racer 5 looks like your average West Coast IPA. It's like the liquid can tell you it shared ground with palm trees, oranges, and grapefruit.

I've written before about the extent to which these kinds of beers can smell like Pine-Sol--there's the chemical, artificial characteristics vs. the woody, citric pine notes distinctive of west coast hop bombs. This one, unfortunately, leans more toward the former. It's like so citrusy that it smells amost sour.

My initial reaction is that this beer is overly malted. It makes me wonder if the beer is fresh. I struggle to find anything persuasive enough to justify a good or better rating. Right in line with my appearance assessment, this tastes like an average West Coast IPA. It's good enough to enjoy--even on a relatively often basis--but it's never going to be the best IPA available.

The mouthfeel is the same as everything else--it's lower-case good. You taste and feel a West Coast IPA. The problem, however, is nothing distinguishes itself.

Drinkability is almost good: I would enjoy it just about any time, but I'd almost always prefer something better.

Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours a hazy golden-orange with lots of tiny yeast floaties. It has a decent frothy and creamy white head that leaves some nice lacing.

The aroma is piney, fruity, floral hops. A little doughy malt comes out as it warms.

The flavor is sweet fruity caramel malts followed by big bitter hoppiness and a strong lingering bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly creamy.

Overall a very fine IPA that is nicely balanced.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,060 ratings.